Is It Illegal to Leave Your Christmas Lights on All Night in New England?
You made it through the day. You're exhausted. You finally get to your cozy bed, turn the lights in your room off, you're about to fall asleep, and...
You're wide awake. Your neighbor's Christmas lights are shining through your windows, even through your curtains, and your dark bedroom suddenly becomes illuminated like an EDM festival.
What do you do? Say something? Just leave it be, cause 'tis the season?
Let's talk about it.
Let me first give my opinion, then the actual law.
It is Christmastime. I do not think you need to take down/turn off your Christmas lights at ALL! At any hour. For the people who work late, or even the people who wake up early and drive to work before sunrise, Christmas lights lift people.
Driving around near the holidays to witness Christmas light displays are some of the best memories you'll make. To the people who put up these amazing displays, thank you. Don't turn them off...EVER...despite the actual law.
To that point, do you legally HAVE TO turn off Christmas lights at a certain time?
There is no law, from my research, stating that homeowners need to turn exterior Christmas lights off at a certain time. There is a twist, however.
According to a Justia US Law article, light trespassing is illegal in New Hampshire and Maine.
"Light trespass" means light emitted by a luminaire that shines beyond the boundaries of the property on which the luminaire is located.... "Permanent outdoor luminaire" means any luminaire or system of luminaires that is outdoors and intended to be used for 21 days or longer.
So if the Christmas lights that your neighbors put up are bright enough to "trespass" into your home, that is technically illegal.
But is it worth calling the police?
Absolutely not. Toughen up for the month of December. Or buy some blackout curtains just for the holiday season. Don't be a scrooge for the rest of us Christmas-light-loving folks!
All this said, if your neighbor's house looks like Clark Griswold's house (with CRAZY excessive lights), maybe ask them to tone it down. I just have never seen a house that would warrant that kind of conversation or a police call.
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